The Best Martial Art
Which is the best martial art? – The Warriors Project prepared some interesting answers…
“What is the best martial art?” - Every martial artist, at one time or another, reaches a point where/when he asks himself or herself this question.
At the Warriors Project we decided to try and answer it.
We will save you the scrolling down, there is no one martial art which is superior to the rest; there isn’t a martial art which we can learn, and when using it we will be undefeatable.
However there are some very valuable understandings which we can attain when tackling this question. Some of them are listed below
So which is the best martial art
The first question we must ask – “Is best for what?” – winning a fight, personal development, improving our physical abilities??
Assuming that a martial arts first goal is to win a/the fight…
The question now is which kind of fight – a street fight or mma perhaps K-1 or maybe a ground fight.
The questions go on and on… but we’ll cut to the chase –
Theory and martial art training system review
In order to find the best martial art for us we need to first review its theory especially the part about the definition and conception of a fight and understand if it fits with our definition and conception of a fight.
Another very important factor in the theory review is making sure the martial arts technique make sense. Some martial arts techniques are just not applicable or don’t make sense.
A martial art should assume that we’re going to face a more physically able opponent (if not then the techniques are not needed to begin with…) as such, techniques which relay on our ability to make 2 or more actions on our opponents one action, will not work if our opponent is as, or even more, capable than us physically wise.
A martial art technique should “ask” itself “what can work in a certain situation” – but it would be even better to “ask” - what’s the best thing to do in a situation! (this also reduces the reaction time needed because it narrows down the possibilities)
If these fit and make sense, we should then make sure that the martial art training system is complete -
Training all three aspects of fighting –mental, physical and technical.
Martial arts instructor
After deciding on which is the best martial art for our needs, we should realize that the martial arts instructor is in some cases as important as the suitable martial art.
Read more about the influence and importance of our martial arts instructor and teacher
The qualities of a fighter most important for winning a fight
This question and the answer to it can help “characterize” a martial art we’re reviewing, as well as a means for us to judge the true relevance of our training for our goal (in regards to our strong and weak points).
(keep on reading and it’ll all be clear)
When 2 people meet for a fight or engage in battle someone usually wins (aside from draws, or from situations when the battle was stopped in the middle)
Who will win? Will it be the more experienced? ; Or maybe the stronger opponent? ; Perhaps it’ll be the better skilled? ; Or maybe the more aggressive?
This is a very important yet hypothetical question which the Warriors Project will try to answer.
The importance of it lays on what we can do with the answer, in other words, how we can improve our training according to the answer.
However, there is no proof for what we will claim below, and it is disputable. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the project agreed on the following claims.
• For winning a fight, assuming we are empty handed, the most important attribute is
Mental ability – all the qualities we referred to in the mental training of the martial arts – fighting spirit, aggressiveness, the willingness to do what ever it takes to win, fearlessness, mental endurance and more…
Meaning that it doesn’t matter how strong a person is, how fast and how skilled he is – if he is a coward, or doesn’t have the will to fight, or is too gentle…he will not win the fight.
Our mental ability is the most difficult to change, but also the quality with the most potential to change, because it is not “confined” by something physical –
We can not train to make ourselves become higher, we can become faster and stronger to the best of our physical potential (no matter how hard we train most of us will never drop the 9 second margin in the 100 meter dash…)
Our mental ability isn’t bounded by any limitation.
During our experiences we witnessed, many times a smaller person less skilled beat the bigger, faster and many times better skilled opponent, just because he wanted it more, wouldn’t give up and so on…
• For winning a fight, assuming we are empty handed, the second most important attribute is
Physical ability - We all have physical abilities (we referred to some of them in the physical training section) we were born with. Within the limits of these abilities we can improve and develop. However, as we said above, our potential improvement and development of these abilities is bounded.
Meaning that if a person has great mental abilities and also good technique but has very poor physical abilities; it is possible for him to win the fight, but it would still be very difficult.
Our techniques are supposed to help us “gap over” our physical disadvantages – through proper behavior, correct timing and proper concentration of force (an armbar applied with the torque of the whole body, a strong kick to the groin…) and so on…
Nevertheless, no matter how we turn and spin it – strength, stamina size, weight, speed, agility, reaction time physical endurance… matter and are very decisive in the out come of any fight or battle.
Our skills and techniques are supposed to gap over any disadvantage we might have against our opponent either natural or ones that even with the help of our martial art training system we couldn’t improve.
• For winning a fight, assuming we’re empty handed, the third most important attribute is
Technical ability – our martial arts skills…
A martial art “supplies” many things. Among the main ones are the martial art technique platform – what to apply, when to apply it….These are important questions and their answers are what, in many cases, differentiate between the martial arts themselves.
As we wrote above – without superior technical ability, a fighter which is out classed physically has little chances of winning. On the other hand, a person with strong physical abilities and the right fighting spirit, despite having low technical abilities can still give a trained person a “run for his money”.
Technical ability is detainable, meaning that with enough hard work almost any one can obtain it (as opposed to what we discussed regarding the physical aspects).
Any one can eventually learn to throw a good punch or perform a well executed juji-gatame, but whether or not he’ll be able to execute and apply them in a fight is very much dependent on his physical and mental qualities.
Fighting experience - Fighting experience is a quality which is not prioritized, because we view as being part of the martial arts training methods – it is a way in which we train the different qualities.
However fighting experience as a quality is indispensable for any fighter and functions as an enhancer of his mental and technical abilities – Read more about
Sparring and fighting experience
As we said in the martial art training system article a systems main goal is to prepare the fighter and warrior in all 3 aspects. Many of the drills we perform in training try to assimilate many elements at the same time.
However when training it is very easy to ignore and sometimes even underestimate the importance of a quality – we should use this article as a reference, for reminding us the elements we should concentrate on in our training – so we can improve and develop them.
Weapons and how they affect the “equation”
As we wrote above the “priority list” was based on the assumption we’re fighting empty handed.
The “math” changes when a weapon is used.
There’s a saying in the Middle East:
“In front of a gun all man are equal” – in other words our mental, physical and technical abilities won’t change any thing when we’ve been shot. They will also not have substantial influence on whether or not we get hit (assuming that the gun is drawn and the person holding it wants to shoot).
There are certain martial arts weapons which can be added to this saying... the samurai sword is a great example.
In general any martial arts weapons, especially bladed ones and especially if one of the opponents doesn’t have a weapon at all, change the balance and order of the list composed above.
In which case the kind of weapon and how to use it (technique) is as important and sometimes even more, than the mental abilities of its user.
Last but definitely not least
From the list above we can conclude one very important conclusion –
It is the fighter who wins a fight not the martial art.
The specific fighter or warriors wins the fight – not his martial art, not his coach, not his colleagues and not his training regime.
Yes the above factors make a difference; and combined they’re job is to make a fighter realize his or her full potential, but it’s their own potential
Examples of this are countless –
Fedor Emalianenko and his brother Alexander – both trained very similarly and with the same martial art (combat sambo), but Fedor became a legend in the mixed martial art world (even before he started to cross train in muay thai and other types of martial arts.
• Cus D’Amato – trained many boxers but “only” 3 became world champions – Floyd Patterson, Jose Torres and Mike Tyson.
• The Gracie family – Although training in almost the same conditions from birth – Rickson, Rorian, Relson and Royce Gracie are not the same leveled fighters….
• And the examples go on…
Best martial art, theory, training system and instructor
A martial art, while in theory, can and should “allow” itself to plan hypothetically.
However a martial artist is not formed only according to his martial arts blue print.The martial art eventually has to be adapted to the martial artist, because the martial arts main objective is to allow it’s user to reach his full potential in order to allow him the best opportunity to win.
Therefore a martial art must be adapted to the practitioner… this is where the teacher comes along, he is the person who should help you adapt to the style or the style adapt to you.
It is very much debatable whether teaching a 120 kg man with a bad back to perform summersaults and flying high kicks, even if we did reach the conclusion that it’s the best techniques to use; especially if we have something else which can work and is more suitable.
In streets fight, for example, we know that being aggressive is very important; But what if we are just not aggressive in nature, and resist becoming so even in fighting?
We might then decide to adapt a certain fighting style, even change a training system and even change the martial art itself.
Yes, it might not be the ultimate solution, the techniques, for instance, we choose to imply might not be the best, but they will be ones which we can apply and use. For us it will be the perfect solution…
Conclusions for the best martial art
As we pointed out in the beginning the best martial art, is a question which is impossible to answer, because it has too many variables.
The best martial art is that which allows, guides and trains us to realize our full potential to deal with a certain situation – but that can only have a very personal and subjective answer.
However by trying to answer it we have an opportunity to better understand what the martial arts are, and how they can serve our needs, and that is the true importance of the" Best martial art " question…
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